On March 23, 1938, 83 acres of land were dedicated in a ceremony that brought together some of the biggest names in America’s horticultural history: Marjory Stoneman Douglas, Dr. Walter T. Swingle and Dr. Liberty Hyde Bailey, among others.
The dedication was for Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, a nature-lover’s paradise purchased by Col. Robert H. Montgomery and landscaped by William Lyman Phillips.
Montgomery, a successful businessman and plant collector, wanted a botanic garden where tropical plants could grow year-round. Miami was the perfect place.
He named the expanse after his good friend Dr. David Fairchild, the great explorer responsible for introducing thousands of plant species into the U.S., including the famous cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C. and the mangos so loved in South Florida. Many of the plants originally planted by Fairchild are still growing strong in the garden today, 75 years later.
Fairchild will kick off its yearlong 75th anniversary celebration with the annual meeting for members on Friday, March 22. Director Carl Lewis will speak about the vision of the founders, and volunteer Bob Petzinger will give a historic tour of the garden.
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